AGRI SA WELCOMES CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULING ON ZONING, BUT STILL CONCERNED ABOUT THE IMPACT OF MINING ON FOOD PRODUCTION
Agri SA has welcomed the Constitutional Court's ruling that mining rights are subject to ordinances which address usage planning because it will allow local authorities an opportunity to take considerations other than those of mining into account before giving permission for mining development.
Where land is not zoned for mining, it will in future not be possible to proceed with mining activities unless the local authority has changed the zoning thereof for this purpose. This includes zoned agricultural land. The ruling therefore places land owners and local authorities in a stronger position, for example, to protect agricultural land for farming purposes by prohibiting mining activities on a specific tract of land.
"Agri SA became involved in the case of Maccsand (Pty) Ltd vs. City Cape Town as a friend of the court because it is extremely worried about the current and future impact of mining activities on agricultural resources and on food security. While Agri SA understands the importance of mining for South Africa, it is our view that with mining development too little value is attached to environmental issues and the long-term impact thereof on land and water, and thus on sustainable production.
For this reason Agri SA has drawn the Constitutional Court's attention to the need for a better balance between mining and agriculture and better protection for the surface owner than is currently the case," says Dan Kriek, chairman of Agri SA's Natural Resources Committee.
"Agri SA would have liked the Constitutional Court to adopt a firm view on the impact of mining activities on food and water, as protected in terms of section 27 of the Constitution," says Kriek.
Statement issued by Dan Kriek, chairman of Agri SA's Natural Resources Committee, April 18 2012
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